Christ is the Cornerstone of the Church by His Passion through
His Word and Sacraments.
The stone which the builders refused
is become the head stone of the corner.
During the season of Lent Concordia will be meditating upon the Messianic Psalm Psalm 118
This Messianic Psalm
teaches us again the Christ is the Cornerstone or Foundation of the Church through His Passion by His Word and Sacraments, namely, the Saving Gospel.
The first time Christ is referred to the Foundation Stone of the Church is in Genesis 49:24
. "from thence is
the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel ... " Jesus is also identified as the Shepherd of the Church. Jesus is the Church's Foundation because by His Passion He atoned for sin to remove the shaky ground of sin's quagmire (Psalm 69:1
) with the firm footing of His Righteousness for us. By His Passion He also Shepherds us in the Ways of Righteousness He walked and led in for us (Ephesians 2:10
Christ continues to be the Cornerstone and Shepherd of His Church through God's Word and Sacraments, the Gospel. Through the Gospel men come to rest on the Solid Ground of Christ and His Righteousness for us by His Passion (St. Matthew 16:18
). In His Word and Sacraments we see the Rod and Staff of His Word and Sacraments through which He richly and graciously forgives all sins and Shepherds us in life eternal now and unto life everlasting.
When the psalmist writes that the builders rejected Christ the Cornerstone, they refer to the rejection of Him by the leaders of Israel and, thereby, the majority of the people of Israel. This rejection coincided with His Passion. The people, however, needn't have crucified for the Lord for He had resolved from eternity, from before the foundation of the world, to lay down His Life and die on Good Friday to Atone for the sins of all men (Ephesians 1:4
). While it is to the everlasting infamy of the world to have festooned His Sacrificial Death for the world with the garland of murder, it is to the Lord's Everlasting Glory that He shows Mercy to men and Suffers and Dies for their Salvation.
The psalmist "This is the day the Lord has made." (Psalm 118:24
). This day is the new day of God's new creation through the Passion of Christ by the Gospel. Wherever we have the Gospel, there we have God's New Creation in Christ (II Corinthians 5:
) that goes on forever in glory.
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth.
-- Isaiah 65:17.
Maundy Thursday Matins Service (Audio).
Good Friday Matins Service (Audio).